”The biggest challenge for diagnostics is vehicle connectivity”

Traditional automotive diagnostics faces enormous changes, driven by electrification and automation. We spoke with Professor Dr Norbert Schreier, the Chair of this year’s Automotive Diagnostics Conference in Munich. Dr Schreier is Head of Automotive Engineering/Service (FASE) at Esslingen University of Applied Sciences, and Coordinator Automotive Engineering/Service at CDHAW at Tongji University in Shanghai.

1. Dr Schreier, what challenges do you see for diagnostics in future?

Automated driving and drive electrification will certainly create new tasks for diagnostics. Also, new business models mean vehicles will be used in a different way, creating new error indications. But in my view the biggest challenge for diagnostics is connectivity. Up till now cars were complex, but sealed technical systems. Now they are connected wirelessly and can send and receive data at any time. The question for the diagnostics industry is, how can we best use that functionality for remote diagnosis? On the other hand these ‘connected cars’ also pose a special challenge. The number and nature of error indications will keep growing and it’s going to be increasingly hard to assign an error to a specific automotive system, let alone an external source such as the mobile network provider or cloud services.

2. What role will artificial intelligence (AI) play in this context?

Along with the classical vehicle diagnostics fields: onboard diagnostics (the vehicle self-diagnoses) and offboard diagnosis (a specialist with a diagnostics tool runs an extended diagnosis), automotive connectivity opens up – ‘Connected Cars’, the creation of large vehicle databases – Big Data and central evaluation of these data using AI methods – AI in Remote Diagnosis ¬– a wide field for new diagnostics solutions. When you get certain error indications, for instance, or during a routine check, you can read out and analyze the status of all vehicle systems or the onboard error log. That might save you a trip to the garage … and I definitely expect it to significantly improve diagnostic quality, and to enable predictive vehicle servicing.

3. What’s special about the Automotive Diagnostics Conference in Munich?

I’d say two things make this event successful: Firstly, top-notch speakers talk about the work they do in the real world, which in turn attracts experts from right across the industry. The Expert Talks offer valuable input, and the wealth of constructive discussion provides new impulses for the diagnostics of the future.
Secondly, the event gives you a broad overview of the various diagnostics viewpoints all along the value chain.
These two points are the reason why Automotive Diagnostics has made its mark in the last 15 years as Europe’s most successful diagnostics conference.

Prof. Dr Norbert Schreier is Head of Head of Automotive Engineering/Service at Esslingen University of Applied Sciences. He is the chairman of the 15th CTI Conference “Automotive Diagnostics”.

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